Senjougahara… tore

September 30, 2009

I think the general consensus on Bakemonogatari is that it will live on as one of the best anime in recent memory. Nisi Oisin is a bloody genius with the characterization and SHAFT really animates the series quite splendidly, though they had quite a few quality issues during the series. I would learn Japanese if this anime does not get an english distribution, seriously, I would learn just to read the novels! The art style goes hand in hand with the whacky and unique characters, since they all have something special and different to most characters I have seen in anime.

The final broadcast episode of Bakemonogatari takes us along Senjou and Araragi’s first date which is exciting in itself. As always Senjou is the biggest tease and does the unexpected in the lunch scene which was amazingly cute, we could see that her character has softened and she even laughs, albeit awkwardly. The date was like the first date from hell really, Senjou takes Araragi to a car… driven by her dad. Because meeting the parent on the first date is my ideal date too.

Senjou is like a wolf on a wounded lamb when she sees Araragi’s discomfort and pounces like a fat kid on cake just to tease the crap out of him as well, typical behaviour which everybody has learnt to love! She even dirty talks his ear off in the car whilst her father was driving, holy shit that is amazing. Araragi was even asked if he loved her in the car, that is a nightmare date if I ever saw one.

The conversation with Gendou Ikari… I mean Senjou senior was quite moving. He was so grateful that Hitagi found happiness and even told Araragi to take care of her, which he may have well said that they should get hitched already. I wasn’t sure who they would’ve used for the VA but it was the perfect voice for him after watching this episode, someone who is somewhat scary… like Hitagi!

The final scenes were so emotionally powerful and draws a perfect conclusion (or beginning) to the SenjouXAraragi relationship. Senjou is surprisingly blunt and honest (in a good way) and opens up to Araragi in a way that has not been seen before. This entire episode pretty much highlighted the character development of Senjou through meeting Araragi, showing how she has transformed from an scared introverted girl to a more open and caring girlfriend. The way she acts and talks is totally different, she even tries to be polite in asking Araragi to go on a date instead of demanding it… even though she demanded it in the end because that was all she knew to do to protect herself. The ending was just beautiful, summing up the romantic relationship between the lovers perfectly.

This episode is probably my favourite of the entire series, beating out the Senjou scenes in Mayoi snail arc. I would go as far to say that no other anime “finale” I have ever seen is as romantic as this. The mix of uniqueness and hilarity makes this romance special and the characters complement each other perfectly. This amazing series will rate at the top of my watching list forever. Now all I have to do is watch the remaining 3 episodes and I will die a happy man!

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Socially awkward moments

September 28, 2009

Throughout life one is bound to run into a myriad of social situations where tact, delicacy and quick thinking can prevent potential embarrassment or tension. Funny thing is that I was talking during lunch with friends and there was an event where one friend thought another friend didn’t know about but did and you can imagine roughly where that went, unnecessarily tiptoeing around the event. So here is another list for your perusal since I am a lazy git.

  • Having friends find out about your events… when they have not been invited – lose lose situation, you invite them and they think you do it because you are found out, you don’t invite them and it is rubbing salt on the wound. Guess who’s party you won’t be going to next?
  • Being walked in on whilst making out – although the level of embarrassment is quite dependent on who walks in on you, getting caught with your pants down is never cool, especially when you are caught shagging a whale like this guy
  • Walking in on someone making out – same as above, God forbid you walking in on your parents or something disgusting like that. You probably never want to be shown the orifice from where you first saw the world.
  • Getting caught badmouthing your boss’s kid – he’s a retard amongst retards, incompetent and lazy and requires copious amounts of training to be able to perform basic menial tasks. He is the type of kid who fails at maccas. His dad also owns your company and pays your bills and you can tell where the son got it from… and you accidentally sent the email to your boss.
  • Calling someone by the wrong name – you could be banging the brains out of the hottest woman ever and you suddenly call your mum’s name, or you could call the payroll lady something obscene by accident, a name is something people should not forget because if you do forget it this type of shit happens and you never hear from that hot chick again or you are behind a month of rent due to “clerical errors” with the payroll system
  • You try to fix an expensive piece of equipment… and fail… and you don’t own it – so you have fixed your own $5 dollar watch and you try to help out your girlfriend’s dad with his rolex only to realize that you stabbed a screwdriver through the screen. Good luck getting out of this one.
  • Sending the wrong text messages – sucks to be this guy. Usually these mistakes are fairly innocent, but it could be catastrophic to relationships and people’s social perception of you.
  • Getting caught as a sexual deviant – you could be selling a house and accidentally misplace your dildo with the cereal, or be caught during “Sam’s happy time”. Trying to time how long it took for your erection to disappear will require an atomic clock. Though stuffing the goods back in your pants will take a bit longer.
  • Mistaken identity – so that person looks like somebody you used to know once upon a time, you go up to them and ask if they remember you, worse still if you cover their eyes and say “guess who?”. They turn out to be rude and sue you for harrassment. You lose the lawsuit.
  • Not knowing which identical twin is which – well they look the same and you were never that close with them in the first place so you never learnt to differentiate properly. Sometimes more frustrating than awkward.
  • You fart loudly… in church… and it echoes –  God forgives all, just make sure you tell the priest next confession that it really wasn’t the guy next to you.

Poetry Friday: spoken word

September 25, 2009

I think I may have missed a few weeks of poetry so I shall attempt to make up for it with a little bit of spoken word. Spoken word poetry is a bit different in that it needs to be read aloud to be appreciated since it is more songlike than typical freeverse.

I write this for my cat muse head crush for whom I (always) owe a poem.

fly to the moon

let us fly to the moon
for it comes as no surprise
that the sun shall rise with the morning-

soon the day will come to chase away
the romance of the night;
so let us take flight with this
fleeting moonlight
and make a future with our own two hands.

i want no regrets to introspect,
nor wounds to suture shut,
so come, and away with us now
i will show you how to live together
forever and a day.

even if, by circumstance we became lost as lambs
and wandered amidst the sands of time
eye to eye and hand in hand,
i truly wouldn’t mind.

and if then by happenstance we found our way again
then i’d say that it’d be fine-
as long as i could call you mine
i will write poetry and song and stall
death himself to keep you in my arms.

i only wish to calm your fears
and dry your tears in your darkest hours,
to be your light here and now;
so surrender your sorrows and look ahead
to a bright tomorrow with me.

SF4 fail

September 23, 2009

I have played SF4 for a while, probably at least once a week for several months now since June/July, using the same character. Every now and again I would try someone new but in the end I would always go back to my main. There reaches a point in every game when it suddenly stops being fun and just becomes too much effort to get any better at it and I am currently at that point. I have gotten to a stage where I am good enough to beat most casual players but not good enough to put much resistance in the more professional circuit. I get no satisfaction from beating novices and I get frustrated losing all the time to the pros. I also seem to have reached a plateau where I cannot improve anymore without putting in training hours which I believe are a waste of time since nobody really wants to practice playing a game when they can actually play the game. It then becomes more of a chore than an exercise in relaxation.

It also seems that all the interesting characters that I like playing are weak or very hard to use or a combination of both. For those who are interested I main c.viper and dabble in some el fuerte and rufus. Viper is incredibly hard to play with no good normals and she is probably the reason I keep getting creamed. I cannot do complex button and controller inputs to perform the moves that is required of high level play and I refuse to practice since it is not very fun doing 1 thing over and over. Seismo SJ cancels are probably her best zoning tool but I could swear it is impossible on a x360 joystick, also link chains seem to be very hard for viper as well as the high risk involved in trying to do them.

After looking a frame data charts, I also realized that Viper’s normals are slower, weaker and has less priority than anybody else’s attacks which dampens my SF spirit greatly. Also seeing her around the middle of the tier list is a bit disappointing too.

I decided that I am going to give SF4 a rest for a long time and play something else since I get more frustrated playing than anything else.

Eulogy for my soarer

September 21, 2009

The truth of the matter hit me on the weekend, that I have lost something which I have spent so much time and money on. Of course I am talking about my car. It took me 3 days to realize that I will miss driving it, the feel of the car will remain a fond memory of my “first” car. When I bought my soarer last year at around this time it was a stock standard car in very average condition, it wasn’t a bomb nor was it a shining example but rather just an old car which is starting to show its age.

I fell in love with the features that the car offered, all the interior trimmings as well as the power instantly grabbed my attention from the first inspection. No other car in the same price bracket could come close to compare with what the soarer offered. The enthusiastic owner community was also fantastic, providing a wealth of knowledge and support in case anything goes wrong. I had done my research and was rewarded with a marvelous specimen of a luxury sports car.

Over time I cleaned up the car so that it looks closer to its former glory 18 years ago. I got new carpets, new shift knob, new wipers and gave the car some TLC with many other plans for its future. I also installed a smoking sound system and new headlights myself. But alas our time was cut short by an unfortunate accident.

Not to say that the car didn’t have it’s share of problems; it was a money pit in terms of petrol consumption, maintenance and potential repairs. It returned a dismal 15L/100km on 98 octane, there was much that needed to be taken care of during servicing, and I was always on my toes just in case something else broke down in the car. However, it made me more interested in the car and I learnt a lot from all its inadequacies.

But now it is time to say goodbye and move on to something newer. I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I have around $15k to spend on a car and have shortlisted the Honda prelude and Nissan v35 skyline as possible candidates for my next car. Though due to budget restrictions I might go with a prelude since it is cheaper to run and insure and maintain.

Shit happens Friday

September 18, 2009

If I have not already cried about it to you, recently I was involved in a car accident which will most likely leave my car written off as a repairable wreck. I braked late at a stop sign and the 4WD behind me rear-ended me pretty heavily and hence now my car has a huge dent in the back. Luckily my car is pretty tanky so I didn’t suffer any injuries. I am currently waiting for my car to be assessed so I know how much it is worth. I have also been told that I have salvage rights to the wreck and I will be stripping my car to sell parts if that is the case.

I need to buy a new car now and I have been considering getting another soarer or a v35 skyline. I welcome all sympathy donations to the “buy sto a new car” fund lol.

No poem today because I am in mourning and a bit frustrated about how long the insurance process takes.

New CDs yay

September 16, 2009

Just got my CDs that I ordered from yesasia today. Only had a chance to listen to one of them though, Maaya Sakamoto’s Kazeyomi. Beautiful album and beautiful voice, very relaxing and soothing to the point that I fell asleep whilst listening intently. CD quality is pretty good too, can hear every little detail like the plucking of strings and the airiness of Maaya’s voice. Her voice is so beautiful and smooth and the music is well composed as well, it is very different to the Kalafina I was listening to before in terms of style.

Kalafina is more primal in terms of rhythm and more classical in musical approach, also the music seems to be more energetic in presentation. Maaya Sakamoto has this delicate refinement about her music and it seems that the goods are in the detail. All in all, 2 different styles of music both of which are awesome!

I will have a listen to the other 2 CDs probably tomorrow whilst I am working. Nico touches the walls “Who are you?” and Rie Fu’s “Urban romantic”. I shall see how they are in CD form compared to mp3.

Very disappointed with episode 10 of the awesome bakemonogatari. Apparently SHAFT are lacking animators and it really shows in this episode. It was like watching a slideshow with captions. Also the ending was rather abrupt and doesn’t conclude very well, it was also missing the usual aftermath animation with the ending theme which usually consists of Karen and Tsuhiki pulling Araragi out of bed. The story had a lot of potential but it was butchered because of the animation cuts, especially the action scene which was confusing as hell since there wasn’t so much action as there were still frames.

The fact that there was no real conclusion was surprising to me since all the past arcs had something to sum them up at the end. When the episode ended I thought that there was another next week to wrap up, but I was wrong when the preview said that it would be Tsubasa cat arc airing instead. There was no resolution to the relationship between Sengoku and Araragi, it was just left open ended with Araragi feeling inadequate and Sengoku thankful for her Koyomi-niichan. Bittersweet yes, but it could have ended better given the stellar storytelling in the previous arcs.

I was a bit bothered by the dropping animation quality a few weeks back, and I suppose my fears have now been recognized. Hopefully they will be able to animate the rest of the series properly, otherwise it would really ruin one of the best animes I have seen in a long time. I haven’t been this eager about a series since probably Code geass or Samurai champloo!

No screens cos there really aren’t that many to show.

I watched “Ima ai ni yukimasu” last week and it was the saddest movie ever! I couldn’t remember the last time I watched a movie that sad, but it was sad in a beautiful kind of way. It is a story about a family who loses their mother to sickness, but miraculously they find someone who looks exactly like her in the middle of a forest. The story goes to show what happens in the 6 weeks they were together. This is where my inspiration for this week’s poem came from if you haven’t guessed already.

My CDs from yesasia have finally been shipped today, so I should be expecting them in a week or two! Amazing stuff I say, since it too thinkgeek 3 days to ship things from date of purchase and it takes yesasia an eternity for 3 CDs. Holding off on the sound system at the moment since I may be moving the entertainment unit from the lounge into my room, so I shall wait until then.

i will meet you there

i will go on ahead of you
to see the future in your place;
but theres no doubt
that it would be a glorious one.

the future was full of your influence;
like a flower field in full bloom,
it was our happiness which blossomed-
from the depths of my heart
i am grateful to you.

i swear i saw you there with me
inbetween the petals;
you moved like a mystic dancer,
vanishing between blinks;
ever so illusory.

as much as i’d like to believe
in the impossible,
this future cannot house the you
from my past.

we planted seeds once,
my look how they have grown now-
they grew from our love
and will grow brighter still,
colouring the world with
your pastel love.

i remember i said
“i will meet you there”
on the day you left me.
with that memory
i realize that i was watching the past,
and that you were the one
waiting for me in the future.

Dry season for gaming

September 9, 2009

Since Fallout 3 there has not been any games worth playing on the PC. There has been a great many announcements from the likes of Blizzard and Square-Enix but nothing good has been released since about January. The last game I remember playing on PC was the sims 3 purely because there was nothing else I could get my hands on!

I have held onto COD5 for a while now but have not had the chance to play it since I am not really interested in that anymore to be honest. When franchises make 5 games with the same name I get very skeptical and tend to get turned off. Also I get frustrated with some games and the amount of backtracking I need to do just to proceed with the story, ie Prince of Persia. PoP has so much backtracking since it is based on a hub world and I really am not a fan or revisiting old places that I have already completed especially if its just passing through.

It seems that PC gaming has died for the year of 2009, with the only interesting news regarding 2010 releases which is a bit disappointing. I am looking forward to Christmas season when all the big games come out like Dragon age and Borderlands.

I haven’t finished any PC games for a while either, since none of them were really worth going through the story all the way. I guess its console gaming for me until there are worthwhile releases for the PC.